The bus that drives slower than a snail, is late.
It's raining and as usual in the post-communist town
the ghosts of gray and dullness rise.
I see fissures filled with filthy water,
the mud in streets and people's clothes,
Someone runs a meatball shop, where I cannot see
but I can smell, the odious odor.
nothing in comparison to what awaits me inside the bus.
I've been here before.
The stench of a delightful blend, of the unwashed bus,
maybe since last year, maybe two years ago,
of unwashed people,
with their unwashed clothes, and stink of feet,
of booze and cheap cologne,
the smell of "paçe" that they eat.
The stench of the Albanian bus, is the stench that welcomes you to hell.
And here I wait for that
and I observe the people all around.
Four boys, cramped in a car, one older in the driving seat,
smug faces, look at me with who knows what filthy images in their heads.
I wince, I flinch, I cringe.
An old man, probably not older than forty, looking fifty, with a crooked face,
skeletal bone structure, stares, is he trying to hit on me, perverted town....
An old woman wearing a white napkin in her head as the old customs say
black clothes, carrying ragged bags,
mutters something in her weird dialect.
A girl wearing jeans so tight, and a bra so tight,
did she ever look at herself in the mirror before going out?
She will probably talk on the phone for the whole ride
She will talk about how this guy and that guy, and that awful boring life.
I look around and ask, what am I doing here?
if life is just a moment in the now
I'm nothing better than all the people here.
If I am here, I am the place where I am
But that's not true, life is later and back then.
I'm all the people that I was
And all the people I will be.
I have better schooling
better style of life
I went abroad several times
I eat better, I dress better
I have more money
I deal with more important people
In this endless wait for the slowest bus on earth
In this Becketian wait
where the now, seems to be eternal
I say I am here, but here I don't belong
In this bus station where my choices brought me
In this station where chance threw me
I know I am better than everyone around
I am better than those snotty boys
who are called inadequate by their teachers in school
because of their background, because of their family
they are told from earlier times what is their destiny
that in life they will never amount to anything
I am better than them.
because I was told I can be whatever I want to be
by my teacher and my parents and everyone else
I am better than that crooked face man
who rarely sees meat
works all day a job physically straining
and gets paid enough to drink his troubles
I am better than his wife or even daughter who works as a waitress
she flirts with monkeys all day long for a ten lek tip
I am better than that crippled man
with a distorted body,
who will never be touched by a woman willingly
I am better than that old lady
who was married 14 years old without her knowing
and for heroism of her country had 14 kids brought to a life of misery
I am better than those people in the bus
who never learned better but to shower in a week once
I am better as I went to school with a nice white lace dress for the photo day.
And my mother who worked all day long
found time to make me repeat my homework till when it was well done.
I am better as my university was American with American professors
and American books, and American "chase your dreams motto" in life.
I am better because my parents worked 16 hours a day to give me a three story house.
And I grew up in a princess room of pink and green
I am better because my school gave me a great job
I get paid well enough to travel and dine and wine in expensive places.
Now that I am waiting in the station of filth and stench
i was brought here by some weird chance
but I don't have the same fate
for if I call my dad, a friend, a cab
I wouldn't have to stay and wait
I am better than everyone here in the bus
this gray that kills me I don't want to see
for it does not belong to me
I am so much better with my love, and fate and luck
so I am better than everyone else,
in this filthy stinky bus,
of absolute determinant chance.